It used to be that birthday parties followed a pretty standard set of conventions – people give
presents, you blow out candles on a cake, and then you play games or share a meal together.
However, as the world emerges from the recent pandemic and many households feel the financial
strain of a continued downward spiral in the world economy, parties are starting to look somewhat
different to what we’ve known previously.
On the one hand, there’s an increasing desire to find joy through celebrating milestones, but on the other, there’s the need to do so safely and within far more restricted budgets. To that end, there seems to be a balanced approach to celebrating birthdays taking place in Auckland. One recent trend in the city has been to stagger the party time so as to limit the number of people present in a given area at the same time. Another prevailing trend is holding outdoor celebrations that promote social distancing.
Then there’s a growing prevalence of people specifically indicating that they don’t want their guests to give presents, or to ask for a very limited monetary amount. In the latter case, the given money is then totalled and used towards a single item that functions as a gift from everyone.
One aspect that hasn’t changed is birthday cakes in Auckland, which remain plentiful, and are
generally still made for sharing. The difference is now, though, that many are forgoing the tradition
of blowing out candles on the cake, and only one person doles out the slices.
Despite all the troubles facing the world at this time, it’s nice to know that it’s still possible to find
joy in the small things, and that there are ways in which we can celebrate one another, even if those celebrations look a little different now.